Richard Brend, one of the founders of West Country chain Brend Hotels, has died at the age of 74.
Born in Barnstaple, Brend joined the family business after national service and with his father and brothers, John and Peter, created a company which now employs 1,200 people across 11 three- and four-star hotels, two restaurants and two petrol stations in Devon and Cornwall.
The hotels include the 92-bedroom Saunton Sands hotel near Braunton, the 61-bedroom Victoria hotel in Sidmouth and the 87-bedroom Carlyon Bay in St Austell.
A statement from his family described him as "a true gentleman, who respected and loved his family. His constant generosity and wicked sense of humour will be remembered by all those who knew him".
Brend died from cancer and leaves a wife, Yvette, and four children.
By Janet Harmer
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